Shameless star to play Tommy Cooper

Shameless actor David Threlfall has landed a role as the late comic Tommy Cooper in a new ITV drama.

The two-hour film called Tommy, will focus on the dilemma the much-loved comedian faced when he fell in love and embarked on an affair with assistant Mary Kay despite being married to wife Gwen.

David Threlfall is best known for his portrayal of Frank Gallagher in the Channel 4 series Shameless. Credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Amanda Redman, who starred in BBC 1 series New Tricks, will play the comic's wife while the role of Mary Kay is yet to be filled.

Andy Harries, the executive producer, said: "Few comics have had such a lasting influence on UK culture as Tommy Cooper.

"The man was a comedy giant who spent his final years juggling his hugely successful public persona with a private passion for two women."

The drama, written by the creator of Men Behaving Badly Simon Nye, will begin filming next month.

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